Posted by: Joe English | July 20, 2009

Training: Should I run two marathons three-weeks apart?

Coach Joe English

Coach Joe English

A reader named Michelle wrote in asking a common question that goes something like this:

I am training to run the Chicago Marathon. Three weeks prior to that is another Marathon I would like to run. Is it a good idea to run them both or are they too close together?

Although I’m going to address Michelle’s question in the context of the Chicago marathon, the fundamental answer is the same for any two marathons. When thinking about running multiple marathons, you need to consider your level of fitness and your goals in both races. In addition to the answer that I gave Michelle, check out Episode 17 of our video series, in which we discuss this very topic. To watch, click here.

Dear Michelle,

There are a lot of considerations that go into making a decision to run multiple marathons in succession. The most important are your level of fitness and your goals for the two races. Let me give you a couple of things to think about:
— If Chicago is the most important of the two races, doing another race thee weeks prior could impact your performance in Chicago. You won’t be able to predict how that first race is going to go and you won’t know how well your recovery will go from it. It may be that you’ll race fine and recover fine, but you can’t know this ahead of time — so again — if Chicago is the most important of the two then you need to consider the potential impact on your Chicago performance in making that choice.

To continue reading, click here.


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